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22/03/2016 23:35
Three-time CL winners TRENTINO through to Final Four for first time since 2012
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Belgorod, Russia, March 22, 2016. Italy’s TRENTINO Diatec claimed the first ticket to the Final Four of the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League after edging Belogorie BELGOROD in the re-match of the Playoffs 6 by 3-2 (25-17, 21-25, 25-23, 22-25, 16-14). Actually by the time TRENTINO had claimed the third set, the Italians had already secured their participation in the Final Four, their first appearance among the ‘top four’ since they settled for the bronze medal in 2012 in Lodz.

In the first match in Trento five days ago the reigning Italian champions had delivered an astounding performance. However, the fans of Belogorie still hoped for a small miracle by their heroes to finish the second match with the desired result. Therefore they turned up in large numbers at the local Sport Palace Cosmos – 4,900 people were in attendance – to support their team which had to play without one of its key players, Dmitriy Muserskiy.
 
Muserskiy’s place on the court was taken by Kirill Makeshin, other than that the Russian starting six was just the same as in the first match contested in Italy. TRENTINO played without any changes at all as if they just continued their home match. They were good again at serving hard and spiking fast. These were the keys to their success in the first set. After each technical time-out the gap between the teams just grew bigger and bigger and the set ended in a commanding 25-17 win for TRENTINO.
 
After they found themselves at the edge, the Russian Lions rushed ahead with Roman Danilov serving hard – 5-1. TRENTINO players tried to catch up and it was a tight match – 11-10, 20-20, but thanks to the legendary Sergey Tetyukhin Belogorie scored three points in row to move the figures to 24-20 and Marko Ivovic then finished the set with a block-out spike.
 
The Russian squad had to keep their pace and spirits high. They started to take more risks from the service line, thus making too many mistakes. After the second technical time-out Radostin Stoytchev’s team was leading 17-14. And finally, Oleg Antonov shattered the local crowd’s dreams of a Final Four spot after serving an ace to finish the third set 25-23.  
 
After that the match was of no importance anymore, and so both coaches changed the starting six to give to some of their reserve players a chance to perform. But none of the teams wanted to lose, and the match got new momentum. Both the fourth and fifth sets were played in a tough point-to-point way. The teams exchanged the leader’s role back and forth, and the Lions were the first to claim a match ball. However, they made a service error and TRENTINO Diatec ended the match just in the same way as they had finished the third victorious set – with an effective spike and another ace.

After the match, the assistant coach of Belogorie BELGOROD Vadim Khamuttskikh apologised in front of the fans stating that his team could not meet their expectations and play as well as they wished to. “My players did not have enough power to hammer the ball down. Now we will have to concentrate on the remaining matches of the Russian Superleague,” he said.

Radostin Stoytchev was of course happy with his players and the final result. He noted that in the first set their reception was quite good and therefore they could spike well without giving away any easy points to the opponent. “Belogorie had to play under pressure and deserved to win the second set. It’s a surprise that TRENTINO outplayed Belogorie so easily but that doesn’t mean that Belogorie is a weak team,” he said. Stoytchev paid great respect to the Russian team and its history and wished them good luck for the remainder of the season.

Roman Danilov of Belogorie was the best scorer of the match with 19 points, while the most prolific player of TRENTINO, Slovenian outside spiker Tine Urnaut scored 18.
 
Belogorie BELGOROD finished their European campaign in the Playoffs 6 for the second season in a row, while TRENTINO Diatec will now prepare their travel to Krakow for the Final Four which is scheduled for April 16-17, 2016.

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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